Farquhar and Raffles: The untold story

The founding of Singapore in 1819 and its early development have traditionally been attributed to Sir Stamford Raffles. Nadia Wright claims that his role has been exaggerated at the expense of another.

In 1830, William Farquhar (1774-1839) wrote to The Asiatic Journal explaining why he was due "at least a large share" of the credit in forming Singapore.

Yet, it is Stamford Raffles (1781-1826) alone who is hailed as the founder of Singapore. This notion, propounded by his biographers, has been reinforced by constant repetition, official acceptance and the omnipresence of Raffles' name in Singapore.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 24, 2019, with the headline 'Farquhar and Raffles: The untold story'. Print Edition | Subscribe